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How to Socialise and Handle Power Moves While Sleep Deprived?

I realised that I am not so good at socialising and power dynamics when sleep-deprived.
Today, I went for a meetup and couldn't hold conversations as well as when I am fully rested.
So handling power moves were even more challenging.

I have noticed this weakness of mine for a long time.
I get taken advantaged of by social climbers when I'm sleep-deprived and not as sharp.
Another time was when I was jet-lagged in another country.

As such, I make sleep a priority most of the days.
However, sometimes there are rough days where I need to cut on sleep.

Does anyone have a similar experience when sleep-deprived?

Possible Strategies

Power Dynamics Training

Take it as part of the social dynamics training.
Learning to make the most of less than ideal situations is always an important skill.
Also good to develop the anti-fragile ego and growth mindset mentalities.

Getting Better Intuition

Maybe it's the case of not having fully internalised power dynamics and social skills.
Or it could be the case that being sleep-deprived is a special case when handling power dynamics.

Prepare and Structure Conversations More in Advance

Maybe small talk and spontaneous conversations are more challenging when sleep-deprived.
Put more structured conversations and meetings on the day of being sleep-deprived.

Hello Matthew,

Here is my opinion. I think the most important drivers are:

  1. Personality: if one is very extroverted, there are very few situations when you won’t talk. An extroverted person has to be exhausted not to enjoy a conversation.
    Skill level: as you said it matters. It’s a matter of building automatic behaviors (habits) through repetition. To tie your shoes or make your bed does not require you to be fully rested. So with time it will come. Sleep deprived is like raising the stress level. So if you have very good skill level even if you drop a bit in ability due to sleep deprived you will still be able to perform well enough to do well.
    Mindset and intentions: it’s important to prepare one’s mind BEFORE going into a challenging social situation. Even more so if sleep deprived.

In this situation I would still analyze the situation and the outcomes and learn from the dynamics regardless of sleep: what went good, what went wrong .

I hope this helps.

Cheers!

 

Lucio Buffalmano, Matthew Whitewood and Sam Wellington have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew WhitewoodSam Wellington

Thanks John, I found your feedback helpful.
Your point on personality sparked the most reflection.

I read the Highly Sensitive Person: Summary, and it all makes sense now.
I have overcome many issues, but sometimes I need to remind myself of my fundamental nature.

Sleep & HSPs

Elaine Aron says that HSPs need more good sleep than non HSPs.
HSPs take longer to adjust to jet-lag and do worse with night shifts and mixed shifts.

Here are some tips that apply to everyone and to HSPs in particular:

  • Respect your circadian rhythms and sleep when you’re sleepy
  • Remove pressure from sleeping: tell yourself you’ll just lie there with your eyes closed
  • If too many thoughts rush through, read or do something
  • If you are experiencing sleep deprivation, take more vacations, periodically.

Sleep is very important to me.
The first point explains my problems with jet lags.
And I do have lots of problems with insomnia.

Wow yes, I am yearning for a vacation.
That explains why I love cafe hopping so much.
It is very effective for me.
I get a mini-vacation while getting work done.

Once over-aroused, HSPs are not very sensitive and understanding anymore because they can get overwhelmed and need to disconnect and be alone.
Non-HSPs instead become more understanding of others in highly chaotic situations.

I usually have pleasant conversations.
When sleep-deprived and overwhelmed like in group settings, I shut down and go the other way.
Power moves from people also have the potential to overwhelm me as well.

I also enjoy clubbing when I can take in all the stimuli.
I don't take alcohol when clubbing.
It ruins the experience.
My brain shuts down.

Brainstorming

I'm thinking of how to mitigate and prepare for sleep-deprived, challenging social situations.

  • Long meditation sessions - helps me to soak in all the stimuli but not get overwhelmed
  • Apply medicated oil on the skin to feel more awake
  • Sleep for 20 minutes before a challenging social situation like a sales pitch
  • Slapping myself - very effective but sometimes people think it's weird behaviour
  • Mental preparation - John's suggestion; I do this but realised it's not enough because the main issue is that my brain shuts off

Things that don't work

  • Caffeine - makes me even more overwhelmed
  • Trying to force myself to open up my 5 senses - the problem is my brain getting overwhelmed not my senses

Symptoms of Autism

Quoted from the Wikipedia article Sensory Processing Sensitivity

Most components have been associated with traditionally accepted negative psychological outcomes[2][3] including high stress levels, being easily overwhelmed, increased rates of depressionanxiety, and sleep problems, as well as symptoms of autism;

Wow yes, people have thought that I was autistic when I was young.
It was probably because of sensory overload and I shut off.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

As a self-diagnosed HSP -albeit not sure to which "degree", I relate.

Especially with the "not working perfectly on sleep deprivation".

However, and this is an important point going beyond HSP-ing, I avoid self-diagnoses and labels much.

If this topic didn't remind me, I would have forgotten about being HSP.

I personally think that much of the "under-performance" is in good part about how you feel internally, rather than how you come across on the outside.
And in some areas, like being less reactive, you might even gain some, and you only naturally focus only on what's most important.

I'm thinking of how to mitigate and prepare for sleep-deprived, challenging social situations.

It's great to prepare and strategize -of course-.

At the same time, here is a different thought: are you sure you're strategizing, but also not putting too much, unnecessary pressure on yourself?

And as a side note, a good social strategist far from his best is probably better than most others at their best.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 28, 2021, 1:39 pm

However, and this is an important point going beyond HSP-ing, I avoid self-diagnoses and labels much.

Do you mean that you recommend people to not self-diagnose and label themselves?

I do think that it is important to not place yourself into a "label" or "diagnosis" as well.
It prevents growth in some sense.

I usually don't think of myself as an HSP on a daily basis.
Sometimes events like this make me re-visit certain "labels" to understand my reactions.

At the same time, I believe the human mind is very good at fitting square pegs into round holes.
We like to identify with something to "understand" ourselves better.
Though it is not necessarily the best way towards growing or getting better.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 28, 2021, 1:39 pm

I personally think that much of the "under-performance" is in good part about how you feel internally, rather than how you come across on the outside.
And in some areas, like being less reactive, you might even gain some, and you only naturally focus only on what's most important.

I didn't think about this perspective.
Now I'm wondering how to measure my performance better.

In this case, it was a social situation with new people around a table eating some food and drinking some coffee.
Usually, I would be able to talk and identify possibilities of how to potentially work together.
I ended up introducing myself and making small talk here & there.
The conversations didn't seem to go anywhere.
Though I did learn more about what's going on in fundraising and entrepreneurship.

At the same time, I like networking events better because I like to float around and have one-to-one conversations.
Or even if it's a group, I like to go from one circle to another.
I tend to find better opportunities here because of the sheer volume of people I meet.
So it may be the case that I was expecting too much out of a group coffee session.

With all that being said, it does seem a lot with the internal feeling.
I didn't feel too good in the first place being sleep-deprived.

And there was an annoying alpha posturer sitting beside me in the group.
I may have confused getting annoyed with not doing well.
My self-awareness of negative emotions may not be the best when sleep-deprived as well.

At the same time, here is a different thought: are you sure you're strategizing, but also not putting too much, unnecessary pressure on yourself?

That's true.
When I strategize in advance, I feel more pressured to make things turn out well.
I guess strategizing means you have certain expectations of influencing people in a certain way.
As such, when things don't go as planned, I may feel disappointed.

I am quite sensitive to caffeine and probably drank too much that day.
That might have added to the jitters.

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